View Full Version : will a cast shoot with a jacketed?

04-14-2005, 11:34 PM
im not being a smart *** here as i dont know the answer.i have only shot jacketed boolits my hole life and i have had very good results with my hand loads with jacketed boolits.this casting of boolits kind of interests me and i am wanting to save some money in the long run.this is my question??

will a cast boolit shoot with a jacketed boolit?
or should i say,the same accuracy out of the same gun?

also while your at it.do you feel a cast boolit does the job on deer size game as good as a jacketed boolit?

please and thankyou for any responces

04-15-2005, 12:10 AM
Jeff, I have killed deer and antelope with 6.5X55, .308, .44 magnum, .358 Winchester, .45-70, and a couple round ball calibers with cast bullets. Elk with .30 calibers, and .358 Win. Buffalo with .358 Win. They all killed very well. Accuracy can match jacketed if you work at it, and certainly they will shoot into hunting accuracy, matching or surpassing what a factory rifle will do with commercial loads.
You have come to the right place to learn how to do it.

04-15-2005, 12:49 AM
Jeff223---I dont remember shooting the first jacketed reload. It was so similar to what I had been shooting it didnt make a big impression I guess. I remember well the first cast reloads I shot in a rifle. Was a 30-06 and the first load was with 4064 and was around 30-30 velocity and felt about like a 30-30. The second load was using Unique and velocity down to about 1600 fps--almost no recoil and very little noise. Pressure in cast loads generally reduced from jacketed--thus lower velocity and recoil. You can get the accuracy--usually takes more work. Deer sized game,you can be effective with cast bullets,in my books not as effective as jacketed. Save money--after you get through the initial expense yes you can. Some buy their alloy,I have always been lucky and gotten wheeel weights free.

04-15-2005, 03:37 AM
..........Jeff223, "..........will a cast boolit shoot with a jacketed boolit?
or should i say,the same accuracy out of the same gun?"

It can, with exceptions. A cast lead boolit is much more fragile then a jacketed one. So far as effectiveness goes, every war, skirmish, hunting kill, target shot, and anything else done with a firearm was performed with a cast or swaged lead boolit until the late 1880's with a very few rare exceptions.

Quite a few calibers will shoot cast lead to the exact same velocities they can safely attain with jacketed bullets, and to the same accuracy level. As I mentioned, a bare lead slug is fragile in comparison to a jacketed one and some rifles are just not set up for cast. It's not that most are, it's just that some by their manufacture may not lend themselves to it as readily.

Without writing a post that would require a table of contents and an appendix, top notch cast lead boolit accuracy requires thoughtfull experimentation and followthrough. Like the old saying goes about power, or speed or accuracy costing money, you can say the same thing about cast lead only substitute time and effort in the attaining.

I will hazard to say that probably 90% of the posters here practice good casting techniques expecting most all their production to be useable. Probably most give thier slugs a good visual inspection once or twice. Some may scale powder charges, some may throw the charges. Most all practice good casecare techniques.

The resulting ammo may have the boolit seated to engrave, or it might not. This ammo is then shot with the expectation of it's delivering a satisfying group of useable accuracy. In other words a thoughtfull but not overwhelming amount of energy is spent in loading it.

Where increased or ultimate accuracy and highest velocity is the goal, your efforts required then become more time consuming. Speaking for myself most all my cast lead shooting takes place in the 1400 to 1800 fps velocity region (from rifles) and the 700 to maybe 1200 fps region with handguns at the usuall 25 to 100 yard ranges. There are no really special pains required for this beyond the basics of cast lead shooting.


Bass Ackward
04-15-2005, 06:38 AM
will a cast boolit shoot with a jacketed boolit?
or should i say,the same accuracy out of the same gun?

also while your at it.do you feel a cast boolit does the job on deer size game as good as a jacketed boolit?

please and thankyou for any responces


Conditions. Always conditions.

A cast bullet will shoot like a jacketed bullet in a 30/30. But it won't in a 300 Ultra unless you load it like a 30/30. For case designs in between those two, you have some trade off in performance. But .... it becomes less with an increase in bore diameter.

Will it perform like a jacketed bullet? It can. But it can perform worse too. Yet a poorly chosen jacketed bullet, for the task at hand, can actually perform worse than a good cast. The margin of error for the learning curve for cast lies clearly with the larger bore diameters.

The question to you is, do you understand the difference? If you do, you can then answer for yourself if you have the disapline to pass a shot if you or your load aren't prepared for those conditions? The real answer is that you probably should have passed some shots with jacketed too, it's just humanely demanded of you with cast. I know some guys that should have never got into cast. Most of those same guys should never shoot jacketed either.

For me, in shooting, there is nothing like the sense of accomplishment that you recieve from developing a cast load that performs on game. If I had not accepted the challenges of cast, I may have quit hunting altogether by now. It has extended my interest to that facet of life that I enjoyed so much when I was young. It get's me out of the chair in front of the tube.

WARNING: The Wife General has determined that shooting cast can be hazardous to your wealth.

The biggest misnomer with cast is that it will save you money. Wrong. It will increase your shooting and thus, cost you more. Know that, before you walk through the door.

Magnum Mike
04-15-2005, 08:29 AM
Here is one example of cast shooting...


I have groups like that from several guns. Jacketed would be hard pressed to shoot that good...

04-15-2005, 12:13 PM
I would say that in rifles some calibers are capable of matching their jacketed bullet accuracy without a lot of hoopla, and sometimes with matching velocity. The 45-70 comes to mind here, and in this instance its cast boolit work can exceed that of jacketed bullets both velocity- and accuracy-wise. Of course, in 45-70 the platfrom can become a limiting factor--Trapdoor vs Ruger #1 strength levels.

In revolvers, cast boolits often/frequently exceed jacketed bullet accuracy and velocity. I will go out on a limb and say the cast boolit is generally more accurate and capable of higher velocity than the jacketed bullet in most wheelgun calibers. This assumes good dimensional and mechanical integrity in the revolver, and cast boolits that agree with the revolver dimensionally.

Autopistols can equal jacketed bullet capabilities with cast boolits, but it sometimes takes a bit more work to get there. Dimensional integrity as always must be adhered to, and in the high-pressure calibers with fast twists like the 9mm and 40 S&W a hard alloy and soft lubes can provide surprising accuracy and reliability.

04-15-2005, 05:55 PM
The answer to your question is a resounding yes! There are a few rifles, that due to quirks of rifling style and twist that are not cast bullet friendly. However the vast majority of sporting and military rifles will deliver accuracy with cast bullet that is fully equal jacketed bullets.

I took my new old Winchester 70 (1954 vintage) in 30-06 to the range today for the first time. I used six different cast bullets over the same powder charge..50/WC872/.5cc PSB/Rem. 9.5 primer. The rifle wears an old El Paso made K3 Weaver. None of the bullets deliverd accuracy over 2 MOA.

Two bullets (RCBS 165 SIL and Lyman 311284) delivered accuracy of less than 1.5 MOA. One ten shot group with 311284 was just one ragged hole that measured 1.4". The range was 100 yards.

I have several rifles that not only shoot as well with cast, but better. Cast bullets have a velocity ceiling below that of jacketed, but if you can live with that, cast bullets will give you all the accuracy and killing power you could want withing reasonable real life game shooting ranges.

04-15-2005, 10:42 PM
thanks for all the responces about this

04-15-2005, 11:18 PM
Good to see ya here Jeff, a good bunch of guys to hang with and learn from. I once had a Browning 1885 in 45-70 that woud shoot cast better than I could see. I've currently got a 30-30 that won't shoot it worth a hoot. I'm convinced that the bore and bullet size match is the key for how these rifles shoot. I spent years shooting cast for plink and practice and doing my hunting with jacketed. Hanging around here, I've taken a turn in my bullet choices, and I doubt I will ever buy a jacketed bullet again, I wouldn't be surprised if what i have ends up given away or just never shot.

There are differences in jacketed and cast performance. You can drive jacketed to the limits of the case and the rifle. With cast, the limit is the bullet. Yes you can drive cast fast, really fast. It takes a very good barrel and bullets too hard for hunting conditions. My solution has been to begin seeking out chamberings better suited to cast.

My choice of the 38-55 barrel I recently got is a result of examining the bullet weights, velocities and pressures. Accurate Arms shows a 250 grain bullet at 2000 fps at 28,000 psi, with 2495. Even pushed to 375 Winchester levels, the pressures rarely exceed 40,000 psi. This is perfect cast bullet territory. I believe the 30-30 performs so well with cast in part because it shares similar velocity, pressure and case volume. The 357 Max in another example of this, as is the 35 Remington or the 357 Herret. The 303/30-40/7.62x54R are all quire similar in this respect when loaded with 180 and heavier bullets, the 308 and 300 Savage would fit here as well. I'm sure there are others.

I've never thought 2" at 100 to be poor accuracy from anything. For deer thats plenty good enough and I don't think such accuracy unreasonable from a decent rifle. Take the plunge, you don't have to have a phd in casting to make good bullets and good groups. Be clear with your objective/goal before you start, it will help you decide things like bullet style and lube choices which can go a long way to getting good results earlier in your efforts. Good Luck, and good to see you about. JohnH (JPH45 on graybeardoutdoors.com)

04-16-2005, 01:41 AM
Two of the best groups I ever shot were with cast bullets. One witha .357 S&W model 27, & the other with a .444 Marlin lever action. Both groups were 1 ragged hole.It doesn't get much better than that.
The Marlin has taken several deer all but 1 were 1 shot kills, & that 1 was poor bullet placement by my friend Fred who borrowed the rifle for his 1st. hunt.
I've also taken 3 deer w/ my .44 mag. ruger revolver. so i'd say cast bullets work just fine.
I now hunt w/ blackpowder & use only cast bullets.

Four Fingers of Death
04-16-2005, 06:04 AM
I don't know about saving money,but I suppose if you keep it simple you will save heaps. Mos of us are a bit different to other shooters and take great pride in producing a bullet which performs well. Most shooters see the velocity restricions and lose interest immediately. My first casting efforts were with a 586 S&W and a rattly RCBS 158Gn SWC mould that a guy who was making boolits for a living was giving away. They were ok, but I picked up a Lyman 142Gn button nose wadcutter soon afterwards and I can still see the range in front of me because I shot a pesonal best, with boolits I cast from a mould which some old geezer had owned for decades probably and I loaded the ammo. great morning! I will take that memory to the grave.

I have never shot deer but am looking forward to grassing one with my recently acquired 375 Winchester Big Bore shooting cast boolits.

Good luck wih it!

PS, I ran across a gun dealer who operates from his home and he has a 375 Big Bore XTR, absolutely brand new sitting on his rack! He also had a carbine and a rifle/musketoon Whitworth black powder pair of rifles as well, brand spanking new and many others. He is considering selling his collection soon. I'm gonna start salting away bucks now!


04-16-2005, 09:28 PM
The .45-70 is a natural for cast bullets, but in the .30's, the best I have found is the uncommon .303 Savage, a little fatter than the .30-30 and with a lot more neck length, of course the rotary magazine makes a lot more bullet styles available, including pointed bullets.
Another plus is that .303 Savage '99's are usually much less than the other calibers.
I use from 113gr to 200 gr and load from .32 -20 levels to 30-40 levels and have very good results.

04-17-2005, 07:44 AM
im just going to take the plunge with this cast boolit thing at leasr for use in my 357max contender.my 30-30 hadi rifle might be next on the list

thanks all
JPH45 i will be getting with you at Graybeards on PM.to bad they dont have that here

04-17-2005, 08:08 AM

The above is the pip-squeek 7.62x39 Rooski Shortski which doesn't quite measure up to the 30-30. We all know these days that the 30-30 is truely a waste of one's time and it isn't much good for anything anymore [smilie=l: Really nothing more then an interesting old relic of days gone by before folks knew any better.


I don't know how in the heck he did it, but this is the result. And the boolit didn't even have a big ole flat nose on it! Shot by a member here, a resident of Canada. I think he's currently still on holliday in New Zealand.


04-17-2005, 08:15 AM

Both of these also by 45-70 Shooter as in the above.